State-of-the-art seismograph on Niue

11 September 2007

Niue seismograph station

The South West Pacific island of Niue is now the proud caretaker of the first Australian built state-of-the-art seismic station in the region.

This station is part of the Australia Tsunami Warning System or ATWS project which is installing a range of tsunami detection equipment around Australia and the Pacific Islands in order to improve tsunami detection and mitigation.

Niue’s location to the east of the Tonga Trench will fill a significant gap in the real-time seismic data available from the region.

"Niue’s location is geographically important for seismic monitoring. There has always been a gap in real-time seismic data in this location, and now the Niue station has filled this gap," said Gordon Cheyne, from the Geoscience Australia Operations Hub of the ATWS. "Data from the station will make a significant contribution to improving the timeliness and accuracy of identifying earthquake magnitudes and locations for events in this area," he said.

Niue was the first country in the Pacific region to sign a memorandum of understanding with Australia to install tsunami warning equipment, and has shown great leadership and support for this initiative.

Over the next two years, the Australian Government hopes to install a number of similar seismographs and other tsunami monitoring equipment in eleven other Pacific island countries. This will assist in improving tsunami warning and mitigation for the entire Pacific region.

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